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Battle for
the Moon

1957 - 1969, from
Sputnik to Apollo

Tuesdays from 9 July - 7.30pm

  • History

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Moon Shot

Mondays from 1 July - 8.30pm

  • History

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Season 2

Thursdays from 25 July - 7.30pm

  • History

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Channel 073

History is New Zealand's only television channel purely dedicated to history, bringing the power and passion of the past to life. It not only satisfies New Zealand's ever-growing demand for historical programming - it stimulates our curiosity to know more about our world. 
History has exclusive access to a vast library of the world's best historical and factual programming offering a high standard of quality in both production value and research - not just from every corner, but about every corner of the world.

Battle for the Moon

1957 - 1969, from Sputnik to Apollo

Tuesdays from 9 July - 7.30pm Channel 073

July 20, 1969. Nearly six hundred million people have their eyes glued to their televisions: Neil Armstrong is just about to make one of mankind’s oldest dreams come true. After more than twenty years of intense struggle between the Americans and the Soviets, the biggest adventure for humanity in the 20th century has just been achieved. As a climax of the Cold War, the conquest of the moon was a true saga, passionate, epic and filled with twists and turns. It wasn’t just a scientific competition between East and West; It was also a fabulous adventure combining political history, technological exploits, acts of bravery and personal dramas. To commemorate the first step on the moon 50 years ago, this full archive documentary revisits the space race from the launch of the first Soviet Sputnik in 1957 to the American triumph of the Apollo 11 in 1969.

Apollo's Moon Shot

Mondays from 1 July - 8.30pm Channel 073

When President Kennedy challenged NASA to reach for the moon in 1961, it had all of fifteen minutes of space flight experience. By 1969, Neil Armstrong’s famous boot print was in the moons dust. In between are extraordinary tales of politics, engineering, ego, tragedy, and triumph. They are told by key astronauts, historians, Smithsonian experts, and one-of-a kind artefacts. We reveal how the missions started, right through to the test runs of Apollo 1 to 6, what it was like getting to and exploring the moon with Apollo missions 7 to 16 and how Apollo 17 greatly contributed to the understanding of the Moon’s geological history as well as advancing many areas of new technology. This six part series sheds new light on one of the most compelling chapters of the American storybook: Project Apollo.

Abandoned Engineering

Season 2

Thursdays from 25 July - 7.30pm Channel 073

The world is peppered with examples of incredible engineering projects and buildings designed to make life easier for those that used them, amaze those that came to see them – and make money for those that ordered, designed and built them. They were the stuff of dreams. Often, as we’ll see in these shows, on occasion enormous engineering problems had to me resolved, obstacles overcome and new innovations employed just to get them built in the first place. Alas, a great number of these remarkable structures have now been abandoned, cast aside like enormous expensive out-of-date toys, never to be used in the ways for which they were intended. Some fell prey to political arguments and financial problems or were perhaps unable to defy the passing years, the pace of new technologies or the vagaries of fads and fashion. Others failed because they were simply monstrous testimonies to the vanity, greed and sheer stupidity of the people that built them.

Apollo's Daring Mission

Thursday 11 July - 7.30pm Channel 073

We tell the in-depth story of Apollo’s riskiest mission: a sixteen-week race to beat the Soviets and send three men in a tiny space capsule to, around and back from a moon a quarter of a million miles away –before 1968 came to a close. To mark the 50th anniversary of this historic mission, Apollo 8’s astronauts, Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders reconvene and tell the story through a fascinating and untapped prism: the incredible science, extraordinary engineering feats and huge technological challenges that enabled them to go where no one had ever gone before.

When We Were Apollo

Thursday 18 July - 7.30pm Channel 073

Who were the men and women of Project Apollo? Where are they today? What do they think of the extraordinary effort they helped make possible? Half a century later, the Apollo Space Program remains the single greatest initiative in peacetime the world has ever known. Its story speaks to the most beautiful characteristics of our humanity: a metaphor for our ability to rise to challenges once thought insurmountable and push past them with even bigger and bolder solutions. Behind every astronaut who set foot on the moon and every figurehead who inspired us to get there was Apollo’s massive workforce: a team of men and women over 400,000 strong––spanning race, socio-economics, culture, company and country––who came to understand that the overall Program was only as good as the effort they put into it.

The Circus

Mondays from 29 July - 8.30pm Channel 073

This four-hour mini-series tells the story of one of the most popular and influential forms of entertainment in history. Drawing upon a vast and rich visual archive, The Circus follows the rise and fall of the gigantic, traveling tented railroad circus, recounting the era when Circus Day could shut down a town, and circus stars were among the most famous people in the world. For many, the circus embodied the improbable and the impossible, the exotic and the spectacular. Through the intertwined stories of several of the most innovative and influential impresarios of the late nineteenth century, this series reveals the circus was a uniquely American entertainment created by a rapidly expanding and industrializing nation; that it embraced and was made possible by Western imperialism; that its history was shaped by a tension between its unconventional entertainments and prevailing standards of respectability; and that its promise for ordinary people was the possibility for personal reinvention.

Truk Lagoon: Japan's Pearl Harbour

Tuesday 23 July - 8.30pm Channel 073

The planet’s greatest concentration of WW2 shipwrecks lie in a remote lagoon in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. And outside the diving community, nobody seems to have heard of it! Throughout the Second World War, the lagoon was the principal base for the Japanese fleet – a mid-ocean fortress they believed to be impenetrable. But then came Operation Hailstone, a massive airstrike which changed the course of the Pacific War. Over two days in 1944, American aircraft sunk around 40 Japanese ships and destroyed hundreds of warplanes. This was the American payback for the attack on Pearl Harbour.

Great American Railroad Journeys

Season 2

Saturdays from 7 July - 5.30pm Channel 073

Michael Portillo returns to America to continue his railroad adventures. Over the course of the series, Michael travels the largest rail network in the world using his 1879 Appleton’s General Guide to help him to understand the America of today. Series two sees Michael make two epic journeys. Beginning in St Louis, Missouri, the Gateway to the West, he travels more than 1,200 miles to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. In his second journey, he follows the Mississippi river from the Twin Cities of the northern state of Minnesota, Minneapolis-St Paul, to Memphis, Tennessee, in the Deep South.

Aussie Inventions That Changed The World

Mondays from 24 June - 7.30pm Channel 073

Historically Australia has punched well above its weight on the world stage of timely innovations, scientific breakthroughs, and brilliant new technologies. Led by Matt Parkinson and a team of expert hosts, each episode uncovers the surprising stories behind four ingenious inventions, and shines the spotlight of history on a fresh line-up of Australian heroes; thinkers, tinkerers and titans of industry - our remarkable inventors. Some improved daily life, while others achieved the extraordinary!

World War II: Battles for Europe

Wednesdays from 5 June - 7.30pm Channel 073

This compelling eight-part series takes you to the heart of iconic moments in the history of warfare: the D-Day landings, the ill-fated airborne operation at Arnhem, the German counterattack at the Battle of the Bulge and the dash for one of the last bridges standing across the Rhine at Remagen. WWII — Battles for Europe tells the grand narrative through eye-witness veteran testimony from men who served under fire on the front line — some many times over. Each episode conveys the reality of the fast-moving, life or death nature of the key battles in the defeat of Nazi Germany in the West. Meticulously researched and authoritative, the series portrays the reality of warfare, how everything from weather and terrain to supply and communications, combat stress, unit morale and unexpected enemy action can turn the tide of battle.

TV Guide



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